April 4 on the official website of "dry" came the news that in the tests of the Su-35s was made five hundredth flight. A laudable thing. However, it soon began a fierce debate. The fact that the press-service of "Sukhoi" referred to in the notice of the ability of the Su-35s to compete against a number of foreign cars. On the one hand, it is a normal statement, if I may say so, a marketing plan. But on the other hand, the list of potential competitors appear on some of the best foreign cars in its class. And if the comparison with the U.S. F-15. F-16 or F-18 looks quite reasonable, the bold statements about the F-22 and F-35 simply could not cause intense discussion. At least for reasons relating to generations of aircrafts.
Will not focus on the attributes required of the aircraft of a generation, because even among aircraft designers from different countries are divided. So, for example, the views of the Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft must be able to maneuver in the supercritical angles of attack and flight modes. The Americans, in turn, has long abandoned the super-maneuverability and require the fifth generation increased at range missile. Similarly is the case with many other systems and dimensioning of new aircraft. Therefore, in order to compare the thought experiment, Russian T-50 and U.S. F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II is a thankless task. Be sure to find another "experimenter", which came out the other results. And, characteristically, he too will be partly right. Of course, the comparison of aircraft, one of which belongs to a generation 4 + + (Su-35s), and others claimed as fifth-generation fighters (F-22 and F-35) caused a wave of discussion and convictions.
Let’s try to better understand the causes of mass disturbances. Perhaps the main cause of controversy is the fact that the press release does not provide specific modification of foreign fighters. In these indexes fighters after a number indicating the model number does not go any letters modification. Of course, the Su-35S is relatively easy to butcher in combat with the F-15 or F-16, the very first version, unless, of course, the pilot will be well prepared. But in the case of the later versions of American planes can no longer be so confident in their judgments. Moreover, the U.S. aircraft industry is an interesting experience: in addition to alphabetic letters after the numbers in the name of the fighter can attend designate the kind «Block XX». In simple terms, this is equivalent to the number of the series. However, the "blocks" of different figures may have significantly different hardware, sometimes increasing the capability of the airplane by tens of percent compared with the previous series. Of course, the practice of "blocks" further complicates the assessment of the possibility of aircraft and their comparison with other machines.
The question of the specific modifications of foreign fighters generates the following riddle: flight and combat characteristics of the machine, opponents of the Su-35s. Again, if you compare it with the old modifications, most of the information that is already in the public domain, the result of this "competition" is certainly well known and it is not in favor of the F-15 or F-16. In turn, the details of the latest versions of these aircraft for the most part classified. Of course, these general parameters, what are the maximum speed, maximum range, etc. not classified. But far more important to assess the feasibility characteristics — fuel consumption in different modes or features aerodynamics fighter with whatever weapons on the external load — were not disclosed. It is a normal practice, but in our case, when compared to the Su-35s and foreign aircraft, it matters not a bit shoots, but on the contrary, only complicates the situation. Also worth noting is the fact that the Su-35S is a heavy fighter, and, for example, F-16 — easy. It also leaves its mark on the possible course of the battle between the two.
Finally, the analysis of the press release "Dry" can literally cling to the words. For example, a journalist Heathcliff confused expression "inherent in the potential characteristics of an airplane." He asks, What are these most potential characteristics? Is the Su-35S is not so good as it will in the future when the potential characteristics finally unfold in all its glory? Perhaps the phrase "potential performance" refers to the F-22 and F-35. If you believe the American promises, that in the near future, these machines are completely secure for itself the title of the best fighters in the world. It seems appropriate department of the company "Sukhoi" decided that they, too, need to begin to praise their products, including its good prospects. However, another’s soul, as they say, the darkness and it’s only a guess.
Another reason for the act of a public pedantry. In a press release stating that the Su-35s exceeds the "modernized fighters such as the F-15, F-16, F-18, F-35." Perhaps, not just one or two amateur aviation in the form of the news of the phrase "dry" came in bewilderment. With respect to modifications of the old American aircraft we have sorted it out above, but the F-35 has never been upgraded. Moreover, he has not even put into service, and the prospect of a number of major versions of the fighter every month look more interesting.
However, we can not say that the press release of the company "Sukhoi" on April 4 of this year is pure bluster, and that it witticism did not spare the facts and justice. Su-35S is praised not only domestic aircraft manufacturers, but also foreign experts. Besides talking up their product is not a unique practice "dry." In 2010 has been a great controversy when a consortium Eurofighter «by figures" proved the superiority of its Typhoon over the American F-35 and the ability to compete with the F-22. But "Typhoon" refers only to a generation 4 +. That’s an interesting war of advertising and technical requirements.
Let’s go back to foreign estimates Su-35s. In November 2009, online think tank Air Power Australia has been published comparing prospective fifth-generation fighter. The main participants of "competition" was the F-22, F-35 (both from the U.S.), Russian T-50 and Chinese J-12. As if out of competition compared participated Su-35s. The essence of the comparison was to find out how airplanes listed, as is clear from the published data that meet a number of criteria imposed by the fifth generation fighter aircraft. For full compliance with the criterion plane received one point for a complete mismatch — point to take away. From comparison to 14 parameters revealed that the highest rating — five stars plus — as a Russian T-50. The worst was the vaunted F-35 with an estimate of -8. Chinese J-12 completed a "race" with a zero, and the F-22 and Su-35s received plus two points. Does not that original result? Regardless of the methods of comparison and they are correct, the second place in the ranking of Air Power Australia «Raptor" had to share with the dark horse of the 4 + + generation. It is noteworthy that the described comparison was just at a time when the Australian military and politicians with a new force began to discuss the feasibility of participation in the program of the F-35.
I must say, Australians tend to praise the Russian equipment and it looks like it this praise is well deserved. So, in early February of this year in Canberra held a meeting of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Arms (JSCFADT). It has once again discussed the need for and feasibility of buying the F-35 (honestly, when reading the news about the F-35 in Australia so it seems that in this country has a antilaytningovoe lobby, which, however, can not completely push your point of view). The meeting was attended by representatives of the Committee agencies Air Power Australia, and the company-developer of flight simulators and other similar equipment and software RepSim. Of particular interest is the report of the representatives RepSim. As it turned out, analysts and programmers of the company, using publicly available information, the simulation spent several major battles "in 2018 off the coast of Taiwan." In all simulated battles from both sides attended by 240 fighters of various models. The result was such a virtual battles:
— Su-35s against the F/A-18E/F. With the loss of about two hundred aircraft Russian fighters have completely destroyed the enemy;
— Su-35s against F-22. On the battlefield flew 139 "Raptor" and 33 Su-35s;
— Su-35s against F-35. "Dying" is completely destroyed, with only survived three dozen "Lightnings."
As can be seen from the results of research RepSim, Su-35s from the 4 + + generation may still reveal a significant threat, including the vaunted fifth generation fighters. The cost of aircraft, "participate" in the modeling of the air battle only intensifies the impression of success unpromising-looking aircraft.
Of course, the Su-35S has the same prospects as the T-50. Only one generation of great responsibility. Yes, and ordered 48 planes just is not enough to re-equipped Russian Air Force. However, the main question in this context sounds different: whether to translate all the Air Force Su-35s, it is appropriate to it? The Ministry of Defence seems to have answered this question a number of ordered fighters. Perhaps, after the supply of the 48 boards will be another order, but it is still one of the scenarios. The fact is that after a couple of decades of almost complete lack of supply of new aircraft did not have to act in the best conditions. Need to simultaneously produce new aircraft in good numbers, but it’s too expensive. We need to create new fighters of the new generation, but it’s too long. It remains only reasonable balance between the release of machines 4 + + generation and the creation of the fifth. And at this time to exploit the already existing machines and send them in time for the overhaul and life extension. If possible, they should be equipped with the new hardware, but within reason. And, it must be noted, the Su-35S is quite able to take that niche, which for nearly thirty years has been fixed for its "big brothers" on the Su-27 family. In addition, the Su-35s was made with an emphasis on the fact that perform these tasks at a time, until the troops will not appear sufficient number of T-50. So it needs to be truly present and future. A press-service of the company "Sukhoi", perhaps, should be applied in the press releases less provocative wording, because they can ruin the experience is really good news.
Author Kirill Ryabov
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